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Ba on track

Zanzeer Singh
Monday, April 14, 2014

BA will take a lot of confidence into the semi-final of the Oceania Confederation Champions League after coming from behind to draw 1-all with Hekari United at Govind Park yesterday.

The Vodafone 4R Electrical Men in Black staged a second half comeback after the Papua New Guinean club took the lead in the 36th minute through Tutizama Tanito who blasted the ball in from an acute angle.

Ba equalised from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after Osea Vakatalesau was fouled in the box. Avinesh Suwamy made no mistakes from the spot kick.

Ba made changes to its winning line-up from the two previous starts.

Fiji under-20 reps Samuela Nabenia and Saula Waqa made their debut in the tournament.

Ba coach Yogendra Dutt said he was proud of the achievements of his players. Dutt said they did not lose hope at half time.

"We have completed our first stage in the competition and we are proud of the effort of the players," he said.

"We would like to thank the sponsors, officials, supporters and families of the players. The boys put on a gallant performance throughout all the three games."

Veteran Malakai Kainihewe received a knock in the match and had to be replaced.

Dutt said they would now had to wait and see who their opposition would be before starting preparations for the next phase.

"We have a larger squad so we wanted to see how the other boys fair," he said.

"We introduced two Fiji under-20 players at this level of competition and are satisfied with their performance.

"I highlighted to the boys that they should not panic at halftime because 45 minutes was left and we could come back and they did just that.

"We have to wait and see who we are playing before starting our next phase of preparations. The home and away matches will be a different ball game."

Hekari United coach Jerry Allen said they would have to assess the performance of the players before deciding on changes to make to target the next season.

"I was really happy with how the boys played. We scored early but then the discipline let us down. Tutizama played very well," Allen said.

The home and away semi-finals are scheduled for the weekends of April 26-27 and May 3-4. The final is scheduled to be played on May 11.

Ba FC: Epeli Codro, Avinesh Suwamy, Ronil Kumar, Mavileko Nakama, Remueru Tekiate, Osea Vakatalesau, Ronald Lawrence, Malakai Kanahewe, Laisenia Raura, Shameel Rao, Samuela Nabenia.

Hekari United: Godfrey Baniau, Daniel Joe, Kila Polena, Nigel Dabinyaba, Tutizama Tanito, Joachim Waroi, David Muta, Pita Bolatoga, Koriak Upaiga, Tuimasi Manuca, Taniela Waqa.

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